Christmas Evangelism, Part Two
It was there from the beginning: the promise of salvation.
When Matthew records the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, he begins this way:
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Man’s greatest need, to be delivered from perishing in his sins, would now be met through the arrival of the Son of God. This wasn’t the first time the promise had been made – – and Matthew makes that clear when he attaches the promise to the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah:
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
Matthew says: You shall call His name Jesus – for He will save His people from their sin.
Isaiah says: A child shall come – and He will be called Immanuel – God with us.
Matthew promises salvation. Isaiah only promises God’s coming.
Thus, follow this, God’s coming brings salvation! And that means that Christmas is God’s coming to bring salvation! As Christians, consideration of our
salvation ordinarily carries us to the cross or the empty grave; as it should. But there could be no Calvary, there could be no Resurrection, without a Christmas. No man could accomplish what He did; no other death would do. Only God could do what was done … only God with us, among us, for us, instead of us: only this could save people from their sins.
This Christmas, with family or friends, take the time to tell the story. Follow the simple truth of John 3:16 that we’ve been learning together. Use the simple outline:
- The Danger we all face of perishing in our sins.
- The Design of God’s love to deliver us from that fate.
- The Duty we have to believe – God’s design demands our faith.
- The Destiny of hope – the promise of eternal life.
This is Christmas – and evangelism isn’t just a good idea at Christmas, it is the very heart of Christmas.
She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.